You may not be familiar with the term “logo-therapy” as it is still not as prevalent as other schools of psychotherapy, especially in India’s landscape of mental health.
Logotherapy, given by Viktor Emil Frankl, is a school of psychotherapy that literally means therapy through meaning. By his practice and personal experience, Frankl had successfully transformed his suffering into a meaningful life. It is astonishing to register that one man’s experiences and his philosophy is now being studied throughout the world. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon his work and it has affected my personal growth, relationships, and the direction I would like to steer my career into as a psychotherapist and an academician.
I finished high school as an economics and commerce graduate. Not understanding what to pursue in college, I was sure that I had no interest in studying business. So I started the default process of visiting career counselors and talking to my family, friends, and teachers hoping to find something that might interest me. On one such day, I was scouring the internet and came across the word ‘Psychology’ which was listed under off-stream subjects. The definition of the word fascinated me enough to dive into comprehensive research and after two days I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree in Psychology. For the first two years, we shared a love-hate relationship and parted ways after I would have finished my degree. However, in the final year of my college, I became interested in the research aspect of the field and started to explore materials on different applications of the field. In one of the searches, I found the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl in my college library’s literature section. The summary of the book fascinated me and I thought to give it a read. What I felt after reading the book can be described as close to metanoia. It had not only changed my perception of suffering but I have successfully turned some of the greatest obstacles and roadblocks in my life into badges of honor.
One concept that stuck with me even after so many years was that when Viktor Frankl says that people find meaning either accomplishing a task (creative value), by forming relationships (Experiential value), and/or by giving meaning to their sacrifice or suffering. Somehow it opened a new portal of understanding of channeling human suffering and emotions in my mind and I was able to apply it to a great extent in the counseling sessions with my clients.
That would have been the end of my involvement, but the recent pandemic urged me to take my level from a novice to expert in the field. The second wave of SARS-Cov-2 has been horrifying to say the least. In India, people are dying at an exponentially increasing rate and the country is experiencing collective grief. I found it only logical, as a counselor to be able to help people the way I can, through counsel.
My earlier experiences may have inclined me towards this school of psychotherapy but recent circumstances and statistics have made it of urgent importance for me to help people through counseling and collaborating with other mental health professionals to adapt to the same line of service.
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